Sexual + Domestic Violence in the Workplace

keyboard key that says stop sexual violence in the workplace

A psychologically healthy and safe workplace seeks to raise awareness of and proactively prevent all forms of harassment and violence, especially sexual violence in the workplace.The University of Alberta has a robust, campus-wide Sexual Violence Policy that includes a wealth of additional information and resources.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence impacts physical, social and mental well-being. Raising awareness of the prevalence, signs and resources available is an essential element of a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.

  • One in three Canadian workers has experienced domestic violence at some point in their life.
  • Over half of all workers suffering from domestic violence are victimized at work.

Source: Western University

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour in personal relationships used by one person to gain power and control over another. This can range from subtle, coercive forms of control to violent acts that result in physical harm or death.

Examples may include physical violence, sexual abuse, financial control, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking and using electronic devices to harass and control.

While most statistics suggest that it is generally women who are abused at the hands of their male partners, it is important to note that abuse also occurs with children and the elderly and within Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans and non-binary relationships.

Learn how you can accept a disclosure of domestic violence and the resources that are available to support individuals impacted by violence or even perhaps those perpetuating the violence.

Workplace Domestic Violence Awareness

Research conducted by Western University suggests that within the workplace context it is most often colleagues, followed by managers and supervisors, who receive the majority of disclosures from people experiencing domestic violence.

Signal for Help

Remote work environments can make it even more difficult and challenging for someone to seek assistance. Signal for Help is a way to signal to colleagues and co-workers through an online platform that you are in an unsafe environment and that you need help.

Watch Signal for Help Video

Reporting Incidents of Workplace Violence

The University of Alberta has specific information on reporting violence that occurs within the workplace. Please review the information contained within the UAPPOL Hazard Identification, Assessment and Control Procedure, Appendix B - Violence Prevention .

Workers who witness or experience workplace violence are encouraged to report the incident promptly by completing the U of A’s online incident report.

Delayed reporting could endanger the faculty or staff member, compromise collection of evidence and produce other challenges during the investigation.

Workplace Domestic Violence Education


Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) - EFAP maintains clinical experience and expertise with sexual and domestic violence.

Helping Individuals at Risk - Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR) is a confidential, centralized resource for members of the campus community to report worrisome behaviours or concerns about individuals at risk of harming themselves or others.

Sexual Assault Centre - The university’s Sexual Assault Centre is accessible to all members of the university community and is a wealth of information and expertise.

Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights - The Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights provides confidential disclosure services and consults on any issue relating to human Rights, discrimination, harassment and accommodation issues.

University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) - University of Alberta Protective Services provides a positive university environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors through prevention, intervention and response to risks and emerging issues related to safety and security.